Right breathing in the cold


With Siberian temperatures, you should certainly not engage in any physical activity outdoors, as long as you can avoid it. But even in a cold winter, you can practice outdoor sports safely in our latitudes. Nevertheless, one should pay attention to a few things when breathing in the cold.

Basically, it is no problem to do sports even in freezing temperatures in the fresh air. Otherwise there would certainly be no thriving winter sports industry. What applies to skiers, you can therefore confidently transfer to runners alike. Skiers sit out partly the whole day of the icy cold, while most runners are comparatively short active.

But there are also exceptions: at temperatures below -20 degrees cross-country World Cup races have been canceled in the past. It’s only natural that indoor activitie’s like surfing online and the sign up offer at Tropicana look more attractive in this case than a long run in the cold.

The body can be protected even in the cold with the right clothes, but the airways are exposed to these minus temperatures almost unprotected. Up to an air temperature of -10 degrees but you can go relatively unconcerned running. The situation is different for cyclists. Due to the so-called wind chill effect, the air temperature feels significantly colder due to the wind. At 30, -10 degrees feel like 27 degrees. This temperature is sufficient to freeze the skin in unprotected areas.

The cold air can irritate the bronchi. This can lead to asthma symptoms in runners with a history of bronchial disease. This is also known as coldeasthma. This is by no means a form of asthma. Icy air can only cause respiratory problems if the runner already has an allergic or non-allergic form of asthma.

Protect respiratory system in winter

If you are aware of such problems in your health, then you should protect your respiratory system during winter sports. A thin cloth in front of the mouth can already be enough. Unprotected, cold air can burn in the lungs. Therefore you should rather do without bigger efforts like competitions or interval runs in cold weather.

Run at a moderate pace, get even through the nose still sufficient air. Inhaling through the nose has the advantage that the air is moistened and heated better than when you breathe in through the mouth. At a fast pace, however, you do not get enough air through the nose, so you will inevitably breathe through your mouth. That’s why it’s better to avoid it in case of extreme cold.

From a temperature of -15 degrees, however, you should shift your training to the inside at the latest, because then the breathing air can no longer be sufficiently heated. The cold air not only irritates the bronchial tubes but also impedes oxygen uptake, thus limiting performance.